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Author Topic:   First John as Continuation of John's Gospel
jaywill
Member (Idle past 2053 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 1 of 12 (409754)
07-11-2007 5:25 AM


In a previous discussion the idea was put forth that two different people wrote the Gospel of John and the First Epistle of John respectively.
In this discussion I will challenge the absurdity of that concept by closely examining how First John is a continuation of the Gospel of John. This will be a theological approach more than a textural critical approach.
Simply by examining the ideas of both writings it should be abundantly clear that one is the confirmation and continued development of the other. There is no good theological reason to cleave the Gospel of John apart from the First Epistle of John as reflecting different ideas, different authors, and/or different and/or conflicting theological concepts.
My approach is from the perspective of one who believes in Christ as the Son of God and the Bible as the Word of God revealing God's truth to mankind.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

jaywill
Member (Idle past 2053 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 2 of 12 (409758)
07-11-2007 5:52 AM


In the Beginning / From the Beginning
The similarity of the openings of the two writings is significant.
The Gospel of John speaks of the Word of Life which was in the beginning. And the First Epistle of John speaks of the Word of Life which was from the beginning.
The phrase "in the beginning" should really mean in eternity without a beginning. This is not the same "beginning" as mentioned in Genesis 1:1 - "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth ...".
The Gospel of John's usage of "beginning" comes before God has created anything. Therefore as far as we human beings are able to conceptualize, this "beginning" in John is in eternity without a beginning:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him not one thing came into being which has come into being. (John 1:1-3)
We might imagine that there are two eternities - eternity past and eternity future. In between these two eternities is a bridge connecting them. This bridge is a bridge of time.
In eternity past - "In the beginning" the Word of life, the Divine Logos was the agent through which all things came into being. He was with God and is God. This is very mysterious.
Now in the First Epistle of John John writes from the perspective of one on the interconnecting bridge of time. He now says that the Word of Life was "from the beginning". The uncreated and divine life of God came forth out of eternity before creation and has come to the bridge of time in order to be imparted into the believers:
But first let's see that both writings refer to the Word of life:
John's Gospel -
" ... apart from Him not one thing came into being which has come into being. In Him [the Word] was life. And the life was the light of men." (See John 1:3b-4)
John's First Epistle -
"That which was from the beginning, ... concerning the Word of life (And the life was manifested)
Both passages refer to the same mysterious Word of life - the divine Logos which was with God and was God. In Him was life. And He is the uncreated life of the Father incarnated and manifested to man. Furthermore He is manifested for the purpose of being imparted into man as the eternal life for man's participation and enjoyment.
Look again at John's First Epistle:
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we beheld and our hands handled, concerning the Word of life (And the life was manifested, and we have sen and testify and report to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us),
That which we have seen and heard we report also to you that you also may have fellowship with us, and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that our joy may be full.
(1 John 1:1-4)
The eternal uncreated life of God is a Person. All being is grounded in Him. He is the Triune God Who was with God the Father and is God.
He was in the beginning (without a beginning - eternity). He came forth to step onto the bridge of time. He is from the beginning and manifested to the disciples for their touching and hearing and obsreving. Then He dies a redemptive death and comes forth from it in a victorious resurrection. He is then imparted into those who receive Him to be their eternal life. This eternal life begins on the bridge of time for the believers and extends into eternity future. He brings them into a joyous fellowship with the apostles and more so with the Father and the Son Jesus Christ.
First John is a continuation of the thoughts of the Gospel of John in this regard. Many many more examples are to follow.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

jaywill
Member (Idle past 2053 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 3 of 12 (409761)
07-11-2007 6:02 AM


So both the Gospel and the Epistle of First John concern the Word of life. "That which was from the beginning" is a mysterious phrase showing that this Person is a mystical and divine matter.
John is writing a polemic against the first century Gnostics and their heretical ideas which they thought to combine with the pure gospel.
Christ is the uncreated eternal life of the Father. The Word became flesh and tabernacled among us - (John 1:14). In the epistle John says the apostles heard and handled this Word of life. Latter John develops how this Divine Person has entered into the disciples to be their eternal life.
The idea is very abstract. Behind all lives is the uncreated and divine life of God. God is an uncreated Life that always was and always will be. He was manifested in the man Jesus Christ - the Son of the Father. He is then imparted into man's created life to bestow upon man eternal life.
Man is brought into a union with the uncreated Triune God through the redemptive death and victorious resurrection of the Son of God.

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by AdminPhat, posted 07-11-2007 6:22 AM jaywill has not replied

AdminPhat
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 12 (409763)
07-11-2007 6:22 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by jaywill
07-11-2007 6:02 AM


Lets start over
While I appreciate your depth in which you go for your topics, I hardly think that expanding this proposal will get it promoted any easier. Can you condense the last three posts into a compact yet concise statement?
You can always expound later, once your topic gets promoted.
I like this topic idea, anyway.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by jaywill, posted 07-11-2007 6:02 AM jaywill has not replied

jaywill
Member (Idle past 2053 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 5 of 12 (409810)
07-11-2007 12:06 PM


More to the Point
I challenge Purpledawn to explain why s/he thinks some other evangelist wrote First John besides the author of John.
Then I will present my reasons for believing that the author is the same.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by AdminPD, posted 07-11-2007 4:51 PM jaywill has replied

AdminPD
Inactive Administrator


Message 6 of 12 (409832)
07-11-2007 4:51 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by jaywill
07-11-2007 12:06 PM


Re: More to the Point
If that is your only reason for opening this thread, then it can be closed. As usual you have my position wrong.
1. I don't recall making a claim that the author of GJohn and 1 John are different.
2. Since you are obviously unable to comprehend what I write, I really don't care to debate with you.
Now if you wish to pursue this topic regardless of my participation, I suggest that you comply with AdminPhat's request to present your opening argument in the first post.
Whether this topic gets promoted or not is up to you and AdminPhat.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by jaywill, posted 07-11-2007 12:06 PM jaywill has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by jaywill, posted 07-13-2007 8:51 AM AdminPD has replied

jaywill
Member (Idle past 2053 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 7 of 12 (410108)
07-13-2007 8:51 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by AdminPD
07-11-2007 4:51 PM


Re: More to the Point
1. I don't recall making a claim that the author of GJohn and 1 John are different.
2. Since you are obviously unable to comprehend what I write, I really don't care to debate with you.
Purpledawn,
Here is a somewhat vague or non-commital innuendo from you that perhaps the writer of First John was not the John of the twelve who also wrote the Gospel of John.
As I understand it, there is disagreement as to whether the epistles of John were written by the one who walked with the earthly Jesus. So it it questionable as to whether the author was an eyewitness
If you don't want to debate. That's fine with me.
No problem.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by AdminPD, posted 07-11-2007 4:51 PM AdminPD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by AdminPD, posted 07-13-2007 9:11 AM jaywill has replied

AdminPD
Inactive Administrator


Message 8 of 12 (410110)
07-13-2007 9:11 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by jaywill
07-13-2007 8:51 AM


Re: More to the Point
quote:
Here is a somewhat vague or non-commital innuendo from you that perhaps the writer of First John was not the John of the twelve who also wrote the Gospel of John.
You are correct that I expressed that the writer of 1 John was not the John of the twelve. I did not express that GJohn and 1 John were by different authors, therefore there is nothing for me to debate in this topic even if I wanted to debate with you.
So you need to let AdminPhat know if you wish to continue with this topic or if you want him to close it.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by jaywill, posted 07-13-2007 8:51 AM jaywill has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by jaywill, posted 07-15-2007 12:21 AM AdminPD has not replied

jaywill
Member (Idle past 2053 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 9 of 12 (410413)
07-15-2007 12:21 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by AdminPD
07-13-2007 9:11 AM


Re: More to the Point
You are correct that I expressed that the writer of 1 John was not the John of the twelve. I did not express that GJohn and 1 John were by different authors, therefore there is nothing for me to debate in this topic even if I wanted to debate with you.
You also said that the writer of First John may not have been an "eyewitness". The first two verses of the Epistle shows that he was among those who handled with his hands the Logos of John's gospel.
"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we beheld and OUR HANDS HANDLED, concerning the word of life ..." (1 John 1:1 my emphasis)
The writer is obviously claiming to be there to have put his physical hands on Jesus. So he was an eyewitness. Of course you are free to say "I don't believe it."
Was he then the same eyewitness as to have written the Gospel of John? I am certain that the author of John's Gospel also claims to have been an eyewitness, though he does speak of himself in the third person:
"But coming to Jesus, when they saw that He had already died, they did not break his legs; But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water.
And he who has seen this has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he says what is true, that you also may believe."
(Gospel of John 19:34-35)
Was it the same eyewitness as the eyewitness who claims to have handled the Word of life? That would be the point of the debate if you chose to debate it.
I would take the side that of course it was the same eyewitness. And I think the style and the phrasing, let alone the extremely close theological connection argues that its the same John of the twelve disciples.
Sure, there were plenty of disciple Johns. I think it is a stronger case that the gospel writer John also wrote the Epistle of First John.
The same John of the twelve who wrote his Gospel of John and his First Epistle John.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.
Edited by jaywill, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by AdminPD, posted 07-13-2007 9:11 AM AdminPD has not replied

jaywill
Member (Idle past 2053 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 10 of 12 (410415)
07-15-2007 12:41 AM


Admin,
Unless purpledawn has something else to attempt to correct me on you can close this discussion. I can find another way to explore the connection of John and First John, if and when I think of another way.
If someone (including purpledawn) wants to argue with what I just posted then leave it open so I can respond, please.

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by AdminPhat, posted 07-15-2007 2:29 AM jaywill has replied

AdminPhat
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 12 (410424)
07-15-2007 2:29 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by jaywill
07-15-2007 12:41 AM


Lets have a Great Debate
I will discuss/debate you on Gospel John and 1 John, 2 John, and 3 John.
I may share some of your beliefs, but I will play the devils advocate and challenge you on several key points.
I wont be totally disagreeing with you, however. It should provide an entertaining debate which shows how the literalist mindset rationalizes the bible. If you wish to have such a discussion with me, start a new PNT, label it Great Debate, and begin with a short and concise assertion concerning the 4 books of John. We can discuss theological assumptions and traditional dogma, but contrary evidence is allowed to be introduced.
Shall you start?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by jaywill, posted 07-15-2007 12:41 AM jaywill has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by jaywill, posted 07-15-2007 10:45 PM AdminPhat has not replied

jaywill
Member (Idle past 2053 days)
Posts: 4519
From: VA USA
Joined: 12-05-2005


Message 12 of 12 (410574)
07-15-2007 10:45 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by AdminPhat
07-15-2007 2:29 AM


Re: Lets have a Great Debate
My focal point is really First John as a continuation of the Gospel of John by the same Christian disciple.
I probably will have just enough time to devote to that
I think you could well start also by just commenting on what I have written above. And then let the discussion develop along those lines.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by AdminPhat, posted 07-15-2007 2:29 AM AdminPhat has not replied

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